The Kashmiri dean of a college in Dehradun was suspended on Saturday after a crowd of Hindutva activists demanded that he be fired, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
Several Kashmiri students were harassed and beaten up in the city over the weekend, days after 40 Central Reserve Police Force officers were killed in a suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Since then, many Kashmiri students in Uttarakhand have temporarily left the state.
A letter of suspension was issued, saying Aabid Majeed Kuchay of Alpine College of Management and Technology has been relieved from his duties with immediate effect. “We gave no reason,” the college’s chairman Anil Saini told the newspaper. “The suspension letter does not even have a reference number which is a must. Basically, the letter has no legal value but we had to issue the suspension letter because of the mob. We needed to do whatever was demanded to keep our students safe.”
Kuchay said he asked the authorities to suspend him for the safety of the college and the Kashmiri students.
Won’t admit Kashmiris, say two Uttarakhand colleges
Dehradun’s Alpine College and Baba Farid Institute of Technology have said that they will not admit students from the Kashmir Valley in the next academic session, PTI reported.
Bajrang Dal leader Vikas Verma claimed that Kashmiri Muslim students are “engaged in anti-national activities”. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader Jitendra Singh Bisht, also the students’ union president at DAV College, said, “We haven’t been able to approach all institutes, but we will do so and get an undertaking that they won’t take in any new Kashmiri student.”
The colleges have also assured the Hindutva activists that any Kashmiri student found engaging in any “anti-national activity” will be expelled from the institute. Dr Aslam Siddiqui, principal of Baba Farid Institute of Technology, told The Indian Express that Hindutva leaders had protested in front of the institute.
“They asked us to assure them that all the Kashmiri students would be expelled from BFIT,” Siddiqui said. “I tried explaining that expelling students mid-term would affect their careers. Finally, keeping in mind the safety of the Kashmiri students, I had to give in writing that we won’t accept any Kashmiri student from the next session.”
According to a report in The Hindu, nearly 300 Kashmiri students have fled to Jammu and Delhi from colleges in Uttarakhand after large-scale eviction from their campuses.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration asked the students outside the state to not pay heed to any rumours and try to stay put at their respective places. Due cognisance is being taken for each and every call from the students and their parents, the administration said. “The local administration and college authorities of all the locations have given full assurance of complete support, help and safety of the students,” a spokesperson said.